Sad to see, Home Power is to stop publishing its Fantastic magazine.
These magazines were the main source for my education in photovoltaics and off grid living. I have made my ends meet on solar and off grid outfitting for 14 years and this magazine was an inspiration.
The puplic libraries had only decades old information of a rudimentary nature available and one day at a Borders bookstore nd in a place id usually not look (between tattoo and other lifestyle mags) was the first issue of home power i came across!
It featured Guerrila Solar, "the unauthorized placement of renewable energy on the utility grid" and a guy on the cover filling his diesel mercedes with home brew bio-diesel.... complete with paisley bandit scarf covering his face! Amazing.
The ads were marketed to us completely. Washing machines, led lights off grid dc pumps and circulators, solar thermal collectors. Good shiny ads with all the details....... and addresses of manufacturers and suppliers.
Now we had product knowledge and articles that included all the materials, down to fasteners, wire and concrete, Usually owner written descriptions of the process and the results, sometimes with sequels to cover what worked and what didnt.
One of the best investments were years and years of back issues printed on dioxin free paper from germany and with veg based ink. You cannot get them damp with coffee.... dont ask about me turning issues into tie dye home power mags! And you could "adopt a library" by subscribing they would send a subscription to a library of your choice, which we did. So i hope people ran into it and pawed at the covers the way i did, complete with restless nights wiring and plumbing and fastening on systems in their mind before doing it for real someday.
I have to thank the original team and i hope others will find back issues and archives to keep available.
The politics sections in early issues were also a gift.
Frank....thanks for this notice. Although I was an early subscriber to the print edition, I subsequently just checked out their product reviews and summaries online, not purchasing a subscription to that format. Sad to see them go.....do you have a more updated 'go-to' source for what Home Power once offered? Thanks.....
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”― Albert Einstein
Yeah, you can see at the bottom of SolarPro's site that it was an enthusiast spin-off magazine for HomePower, so this makes sense that it stops publishing as well.
I hope you are able to download the archived magazines, even if they remain available on both sites, because you never know how long that will last. The history and information in those magazines (especially the political references) are very important to future generations, as it's too easy to bury information these days with the way the internet media functions.
It seems like the sites will continue to stay up, and they still offer their courses, so at least they'll continue informing people in that way.
"Our ability to change the face of the earth increases at a faster rate than our ability to foresee the consequences of that change"
- L.Charles Birch
A treasured posession is my CD of the first 10 years of home power. Guerilla solar, things that work and the DIY articles helped shape my alt energy views. I had not picked up a print edition in a long time due to digital access and format change which seemed to focus more on gear exposure instead of reviews. I was excited recently to read the blue ion lithium article. I will miss it dearly.